CHENNAI: Yasin Merchant dumped the pre-tournament favourite Manan Chandra out of the Madras Gymkhana Club all-India invitation snooker tournament with a 54-43, 100-9, 66-2, 84-43, 55-76, 66-16 win in the semifinals on Thursday.
In a cagey first frame, both players had and missed chances in equal measure. Trailing 32-43, Yasin stepped up a gear to clear the table with a tricky 22-point break where the coloured balls had berthed themselves in knotty positions.
Yasin had trouble starting well this tournament and with that problem out of the way, turned on the style in the second frame with a 100-point break, his second of the week.
He broke hard and decisively in an exhibition of sleek potting to push Manan to the brink at 4-0. Though Manan pulled one back to make it 4-1, Yasin’s aggressive play was rewarded as he exploited spaces and angles to perfection, finishing the match 5-1 in quick time.
Earlier, in what was one of the plays of the tournament, Yasin ignored the more accessible options to pot a chancy red which started him on a 75-point break in the fourth frame of his quarter-final match against Devendra Joshi. It proved portentous as he took apart his opponents in both the quarterfinals and the semifinals with relative ease.
Semifinals (best-of-nine frames): Yasin Merchant bt Manan Chandra 5-1 (54-43, 100-9, 66-2, 84-43, 55-76, 66-16).
Quarterfinals (best-of-seven frames): Aditya Mehta bt Faisal Khan 4-0 (91-15, 79-0, 84-2, 85-8), Sourav Kothari bt Brijesh Damani 4-3 (10-79, 71-57, 8-76, 88-0, 90-1, 11-75, 64-48), Manan bt Alok Kumar 4-1 (87-45, 69-25, 8-75, 80-38, 74-34), Yasin bt Devendra Joshi 4-1 (56-60, 91-1, 60-50, 75-0, 66-6).